EPISTLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

 

1ST THESSALONIANS

Trials

 

1:3          ...your endurance inspired by hope

1:6          In spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message

2:2          We had previously suffered and been insulted...but...we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.

2:14        You suffered from your own countrymen

2:17        We were torn away from you

3:3          ...no one would be unsettled by these trials

3:4          ...we would be persecuted

3:7          ...in all our distress and persecution

4:13        ...about those who fall asleep...grieve

 

Paul had just been run out of Philippi (1 Thess. 2:2) where he'd converted Lydia and household, the jailor and household, and many others.  The owners of a girl with ESP convinced the officials he was causing trouble in the city, so Paul was beaten and imprisoned.  An earthquake and escape followed.  When the officials found out Paul was a Roman citizen, they officially apologized, then urged them to leave the city (Acts 16:36-39).

 

Paul went immediately to Thessalonica.  This city was named after the sister of Alexander the Great, Thessalonica.  In the war between the Greeks and Romans around 160 BC, it was the headquarters of the navy.  Twenty years later the Romans made it the capital of the upper province of Macedonia in Greece. 

 

Paul preached there perhaps six months with great success among Jews and Gentile proselytes, but most were Greeks who had turned from idols (1 Thess. 1:9; 2:14).  Among his converts were prominent women (Acts 17:4), and men who would become close friends and companions:  Jason who may have been his first convert and with whom he lived (17:5-7), Aristarchus and Secundus (Acts 20:4) and possibly Gaius (Acts 19:29).  Aristarchus was with him in Ephesus, Asia (Acts 19:29), and Rome (Acts 27:2), and was a prisoner with him there (Col. 4:10; Philem. 24).

 

Although Paul supported himself while there (1 Thess. 2:9; 2 Thess. 3:8), the church over at Philippi sent him assistance while here twice (Phil. 4:16).  But the jealous Jews formed a mob and started a riot, rushing Jason and other Christians before the city officials saying Paul was causing trouble all over the world by declaring there's another king besides Caesar.  The city officials "were thrown into turmoil," but Jason and the others posted bond and were let go.   There is a possibility that some were killed, however, because of their grief over some deaths (1 Thess. 4:13).  That night they urged Paul to slip out of town, which he did.  Paul said he was "torn away" from them (1 Thess. 2:17).

 

He went on to Berea and was received well there, converting a few Jews and many "prominent Greek women and many Greek men" (Acts 17:11-12).  But the Jews from Thessalonica followed them there, stirred up another mob, and forced Paul to escape.  Some of the Christians at Berea escorted Paul until he arrived safely at Athens where he seems to have gone into hiding awhile.  "So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens" (1 Thess. 3:1).

 

Paul sent Timothy out to preach while he remained in hiding awhile, and "when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith" because of their much temptation.  Timothy returned with news of their steadfastness during their faith (1 Thess. 3:5-6.  At this time Paul wrote his 1st epistle to the Thessalonians.

 

 

1:3       Their faith produced what?  _____________________________  Their love prompted what?  _________________________  Their hope inspired what?  ________________________________

 

            5:8  faith and love are like a protective _________________________, and hope is like a protective ___________________.

 

            1 Corinthians 13, the "love chapter" of the Bible says in verse 13 that what three things endure:  ______________________ ____________________ and __________________________

 

1:6       They had become imitators of the Lord in spite of _____________________________________________________________

 

1:7-8    By withstanding, they became a ____________________ to all future believers in northern and southern Greece and beyond that - "everywhere."

 

1:9-10  They're telling everyone the Thessalonians turned to God from __________ and are waiting  for God's _________________ from heaven.

 

2:5, 9   Paul never used ______________________ to make a hidden _____________________.  He __________________________ night and day so he wouldn't be a financial _____________________ to anyone while preaching to them.

 

2:14a    The Thessalonian Christians suffered from their own ____________________________.

 

2:14b-16  The Jewish Christians in Jerusalem suffered from their own countrymen too who slandered them to keep from speaking to the ____________ ______________________________ so they may be ______________________.

 

2:17-18  Paul said he was _____________________ away from them and had since wanted to come to them again and ___________

 

2:19     Paul planned to brag on the church in Thessalonia to the Lord Jesus when he __________________________.

 

3:2-3    Paul sent Timothy back to them to strengthen and encourage, so that no one would be unsettled by their _______________.

 

3:4       Paul had even foreseen while still with them that he would be ___________________________, and it turned out that way.

 

3:6-8    Timothy had just returned with good _______________ about their faith, so now "we really ________________."

 

4:1; 10 Paul taught them how to live and urged them to do this _______________________ and ________________________.  He taught them to love each other, and to do so __________________________ and ________________________.

 

4:3-6    They should avoid sexual ______________________________, and not wrong his brother or take ____________________ of him.

 

4:13     They were grieving over some who had died, perhaps as a result of persecution.

 

4:16-17  But Paul said that when Jesus came down from heaven, the _________________________ in Christ will rise first.  Then live Christians will be caught up _________________________ with ______________________.  Then they will all meet the Lord in the ____________________________________________ where they will be with the Lord ________________.

 

5:1       But the time and date of Jesus' return will come as a __________________ in the night.

 

5:6       All Christians should be ___________________________ and self-controlled.

 

5:12f    It seems as though they already had elders.

 

5:15     Don't repay ________________________________ for wrong.

 

5:16-18  Despite trials, be ______________________ always, ___________________________ continually, give ________________ in all circumstances.

 

5:21     ______________________________ everything.

 

 

2ND THESSALONIANS

Tenacity

 

 

Apparently some people had decided from Paul's first letter that Jesus was going to return to get them any day now.  So Paul quickly sent them a second letter to clear up their misunderstanding.

 

 

1:4       The Christians at Thessalonica were still enduring ____________________________________ and __________________.

 

1:6-7    But God will pay back _______________________ to their troublers when Jesus is revealed from ____________________.

 

2:1-2    They had become easily __________________________ and _________________________ by so-called prophets who said the "day of the Lord' has ________________________________ come.

 

2:3-4    That day will not come until the "man of lawlessness" proclaims ________________________ to be _______________.

 

2:9       The coming of the "lawless one" will be in accordance with the work of _____________________ displayed in all kinds of ____________________ miracles, signs and wonders.

 

2:10f    People perish because they _________________________________________ to love the truth and so be _________________.  God sends them something else to believe in which is only a powerful ________________________, that which they prefer to believe in and delight in.

 

2:13     God chooses us to be saved through the sanctifying work of the _____________________ and belief in the _______________.  In other words, we qualify, so therefore we are chosen.

 

3:6       Keep away from every ____________________________ who is __________________.  Some had apparently quit their jobs, awaiting Jesus' return.

 

3:7f      After all, Paul was not idle, nor did he eat anyone's _____________________ without _________________________ for it.

 

3:10     If a man will not ________________________, he shall not ____________________.

 

3:11f    When someone becomes idle and is no longer busy, he is a __________________________________.  They need to _________________________ down and earn their necessities.

 

3:16     The Lord of peace gives us what? _________________________________

 

3:17     Paul's seal of authenticity to his dictated letters was his finally greeting in his own handwriting.